Shaun J. Wright
Vocalist, DJ, and producer Shaun J. Wright grew up in the near-west suburb of Maywood, but spent much of his time with family around Chicago’s West Side. While he was matriculating at Proviso High School, house music was everywhere. Wright remembers picking up a copy of Cajual’s The New Chicago House Sound at Riemer Records on cassette tape and having his world blown open; Dajae, Derrick Carter, The Outhere Brothers, and Hard Corey and Wray informed his understanding of music. Sneaking into The Generator at age sixteen and hanging out at The Belmont Rocks helped Wright to absorb more than just the sounds of cutting edge ’90s house from Chicago; he also started to understand the importance of the city’s vibrant queer of color social culture to its music. Trained in African Dance and a member of the Mega Sweat footwork crew, Wright also understood how house music was made specifically for dancing, just as dances that came out of Chicago’s Black and brown communities were made for it. When he began to immerse himself in Atlanta’s ballroom scene while earning a BA at Morehouse College, Wright’s approach to dance evolved with his appreciation for the sounds of the runway. After college, he moved to London to study for an MA in fashion curation before returning to the US and settling for a time in New York City. Wright’s career as a recording artist began after he met Hercules and Love Affair’s music director Andy Butler at a party following a concert it performed in support of its debut album. Wright subsequently wrote and contributed vocals to Hercules and Love Affair’s 2011 album Blue Songs, touring the world in support of the record. After parting ways with Hercules following the tour, Wright began recording with Sydney-based DJs and producers Stereogamous (Paul Mac and Jonny Seymour) while maintaining a home base in the city of his birth. During his time back in Chicago, Wright developed his primary artistic collaboration with writing partner Alinka (Alena Ratner) and the two produced a monthly party at Berlin called Twirl, which subsequently became the name of their record label. Wright continues to tour the world as a DJ, producing and curating new sounds in a range of experimental art and club contexts.